ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Stephen Schmidt (TELUS Communications Company)

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Ottawa, 16 March 2015

Our reference: 8678-T66-201402891


Mr. Stephen Schmidt
Vice-President − Telecom Policy & Chief Regulatory Legal Counsel
Telecom Policy and Regulatory Affairs
TELUS Communications Company
215 Slater Street, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 0A6

RE:  TELUS Communications Company’s Deferral Account-funded Broadband Expansion

Dear Sir:

This letter requests further information regarding statements made by TELUS Communications Company (TCC) in the quarterly reports it has filed regarding its deferral account-funded broadband expansion.

In Telecom Decision 2010-639,Footnote 1 the Commission approved an expansion of broadband service by TCC to certain rural and remote communities, including 50 rural and remote communities located in the province of Alberta. InTelecom Decision 2014-419,Footnote 2 the Commission extended the deadline for completion of this deferral-account-funded broadband rollout to the end of 2015.

The Commission also directed TCC to provide detailed quarterly reports to the Commission until its rollout has been completed. The reports are to include, among other things, status updates for each community, risks to the rollout schedule, and mitigation plans. To date, the Commission has received TCC’s first two quarterly reports: the first dated 15 October 2015 and the second dated 15 January 2015.

In both of these reports TCC indicated that there is a risk that the rollout may not be completed to three Alberta communities included in the approvedplan by the 31 December 2015 deadline.

TCC submitted that the risk of non-completion, which it considers to be beyond its control, stems from its inability to obtain a fibre transport link to connect its facilities in Goodfish, Alberta, to the Alberta communities of Chipewyan Lake, Peerless Lake, and Trout Lake.

In its reports, TCC submitted that in October 2014 the Government of Alberta had indicated that it was agreeable to a three-year lease for the required fibre link, on the condition that TCC waive all liability for the Government of Alberta as owner of the SuperNet fibre. TCC reported that it did not agree to this condition and an agreement was not made. However, TCC submitted that it had recently re-initiated negotiations with the Government of Alberta to obtain the necessary fibre links so that it could fulfil its broadband expansion obligations in Alberta.

Paragraph 28(1)(a) of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure provides that the Commission may request parties to file information or documents where needed.

Commission staff requests an update on these negotiations, including whether an agreement has been reached. If negotiations have not yet been successful, Commission staff requests that TCC provide any records of its negotiations with the Government of Alberta for the required fibre link, including minutes of meetings and correspondence, by 31 March 2015.

If you have any questions regarding the contents of this letter, please feel free to contact me at, (819) 997-9300.


Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution and Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications sector
c.c.: Erwin Loewen, Service Alberta,
Joseph Cabrera, CRTC, (819) 934-6352,

Footnote 1

Follow-up to Telecom Decision 2008 1 – Proposal by TELUS Communications Company to dispose of the funds remaining in its deferral accounts, Telecom Decision CRTC 2010 639, 31 August 2010.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

TELUS Communications Company − Application to revise the company’s deferral-account-funded broadband service expansion plan, Telecom Decision CRTC 2014-419, 7 August 2014.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

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